Alysia Abbott is a writer whose work has appeared in Vogue, Real Simple, TheAtlantic.com, Out, Salon, Slate, and Psychology Today, among other publications. She is the co-founder of The Recollectors Project and the author of FAIRYLAND, A MEMOIR OF MY FATHER (W.W. Norton). She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Samantha Allen writes about gender, sexuality, and technology. She is a columnist for The Daily Beast and a regular contributor at The Daily Dot and Hello Giggles. Her work has also appeared on Rolling Stone, The Advocate, Salon, Huffington Post, Mic, Kinsey Confidential, Jacobin, and in Adult Magazine. You can find Samantha on Twitter: @SLAwrites.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer currently living in Harlem. While attending Howard University, Michael held internship positions at Radio One, C-SPAN, the now-defunct Blender magazine, and MTV News Online. He also took part in a comedy-writing program founded by Chris Rock and sponsored by Comedy Central.
Since then Michael has written extensively about issues related to sexuality, race, religion, politics and pop culture. He now serves as a columnist for EBONY.com and regular contributor to Complex.com, Gawker, and Interactive One’s NewsOne and The Urban Daily. Moreover, he’s penned essays for Buzzfeed, Esquire.com, Time Ideas, New York magazine’s Vulture, Salon, theGrio, The Atlantic, The Root, xoJane, ESSENCE magazine, and Comedy Central Online, among others. His work has been referenced everywhere from The Weekly Standard to Jezebel and even been deemed required reading for courses at Harvard University. Additionally, Michael’s made appearances on MSNBC, NPR, Sirius Radio, HuffPoLive in addition to other various radio interviews on nationally syndicated programs.
But, you can find Michael in hismost natural state on his Web site, The Cynical Ones, a humor blog filled with commentary on politics, pop culture, and personal anecdotes. The Root named Michael named one of the Best Black Bloggers to Know in 2012.
I was born in Takoma Park, Maryland but raised in Brooklyn, New York by a single mom. In my senior year of high school I wrote the Scenarios USA REAL DEAL short film, The Choices We Make. My film is about a young couple and the choices they make regarding an unplanned pregnancy in their senior year of high school, and was written in response to the question “What is the Real Deal in Romance and Relationships?” The Choices We Make is currently the highest viewed Scenarios film with over 12.6 million Youtube views to date. I am currently working to pay for my last year of undergrad in hopes of completing a writing degree. When I graduate, I hope to publish my works and one day write for film and TV and expand on the legacy I started with Scenarios.
Anna Blum is a sophomore at Vassar College, where she is studying film with the hopes of becoming a film editor. Her interests include baking and braiding challah, dancing, guitar hero, and overwhelming television consumption. Follow her on twitter: @itsablumthing
Angela Bronner Helm
Angela Bronner Helm is a journalist with nearly 20 years experience as a writer and editor. She began her career as an editorial assistant at The Source magazine, during hip-hop’s golden age, covering everything from Lauryn Hill’s first solo single to crack and cocaine sentencing disparities. She was also a founding editor of Honey, a groundbreaking urban women’s lifestyle magazine. Angela has also held editorial positions at AOL, The Village Voice, and amNewYork; she was more recently Editor In Chief of Uptown magazine and executive editor at Essence magazine. She is currently an adjunct professor of journalism at the City College of New York, and in 2013, founded her own editorial consulting company, At The Helm Media, serving clients such as The Root, NewsOne, Ebony, and others. Angela has been quoted in the New York Times, and appeared on CBS Evening News. She is most passionate about social justice issues, with a particular lens on race, gender, class and culture. Angela was a Women’s and Gender Studies major at Amherst College and received an M.A. in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from New York University. Angela is also a board member of the Black AIDS Institute. Angela is a longtime resident of Harlem where she lives with her family. Follow her on twitter: @
Desiree Browne is a writer and editor who has worked for an array of media outlets. Her work–ranging from features on fashion to theater–has appeared in The Awl, the New York Observer and The Frisky, among other publications. Desiree received her B.A. in English Literature and American Studies from Columbia University. She is currently Digital and Social Media Coordinator at Scenarios USA.
Rebecca Carroll is the author of several nonfiction books, including Saving The Race and Sugar In The Raw. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Ebony, Jezebel, The Daily Beast, the LA Times, and the Guardian, where she is a regular opinion writer. Follow her on Twitter at @rebel19.
Linda Chavers is a writer and teacher in Exeter, New Hampshire. Her big loves are reality television, novels, and William Faulkner. She tweets @contrarynegress and occasionally remembers to update her site.
Suswana is a student at Baruch College majoring in journalism. In addition to writing and dancing, her soul is in nonprofit fundraising. She dedicated her high school career to the nonprofit Free The Children, which taught her the power of youth. Her mission in life is to eradicate “impossible” from the dictionary. For more of her writing check out GoKicker.com.
Caitlin J. Dempsey
Originally from the Flathead Indian Reservation in Northwest Montana, Caitlin graduated from Georgetown University in 2010, with a major in Government and a minor in Justice & Peace Studies. As of May 2013, Caitlin completed her Masters in Nonprofit Management at the New School, with a specialization in Social Entrepreneurship and Finance. She is passionate about education, empowering girls, preserving Native cultures, and using strategic communications to leverage the collective potential of communities.
Jayy Dodd is a writer and performance artist from Los Angeles, CA now based in Boston, MA. He is an assistant editor at The Offing Mag, and his work has appeared on Huffington Post, Black Youth Project, and Blavity. He writes poems and essays and is working on his first chapbook. He has a B.A. from Tufts University.
Rana Emerson writes about media, culture and society. Her writing has appeared in Gender & Society, the American Journal of Sociology, the websites xoJane.com, Popmatters.com the essay collection Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion and The Book of Jezebel. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and in her spare time volunteers as a mentor at the Lower East Side Girls Club. Follow her on Twitter @starfishncoffee.
Brooklyn artist Vin Ganapathy draws on multiple influences that inform his imagery and work. Mixing pen, pencil and paint, Vinay’s illustrations are marked by fine, almost-frail line work and sudden bursts of color. Taking slice-of-life inspiration from the city around him and his crew of oddball friends, his drawings are strangely kinetic and eerily true-to-life. http://vinganapathy.com/ Follow on Instagram @vinganapathy
Brianna (or Brie) Garrett is a fiction writing major at Columbia College Chicago. She loves the idea of telling a story whether from a book or through tv and movies. Aside from working with the Scenarios USA Media Corps, she also writes for (and helped create) Teenplicity. Follow her on Twitter briebxrries.
Stephanie Gilmore is an award-winning educator, historian, and editor. She travels the country speaking about sexual violence on college campuses and student activism to end rape culture. Her opinions and insights on intersectional feminism have appeared in such places as Racialicious, Ms. Magazine, and elsewhere. Follow Stephanie on Twitter at @pivotthecenter.
Janaya Greene is a graduate of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago. She is screenwriter of the Scenarios USA film, Veracity, a story that explores the taboo of being gay in the African-American community, and for which she won a 2014 Upstart Award. She is a full-time student at Ohio State University, where she is studying journalism and media production. Follow her on Twitter at @janayagr.
Feminist columnist Rosita González is a transracial, Korean-American adoptee. She is married to a Brit who refers to himself as an Anglo-American and is a mother to two multiracial children. Rosita was adopted in 1968 at the age of one through Holt International. Her road has been speckled with Puerto Rican and Appalachian relatives and her multiracial sister, the natural child of her adoptive parents. While quite content with her role as a “Tennerican,” her curiosity has grown recently as her children explore their own ethnic identities. She considers herself a lost daughter, not only because of the loss of her birth family, but also because of the loss of her adoptive parents. Rosita has recently started her search for her natural family. With the help of G.O.A.L., she visited Korea in August 2014. When she is not supporting her children on their individual paths, Rosita spends her time as an art educator, ceramicist and an art photographer. She also shares her adventures as an adoptee and parent on her blog, mothermade. Follow her on Twitter @mothermade.
Marissa Hatten is a senior at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she is studying Sociology and Spanish Language studies. She spends her day reading, obsessing over all things anime and comics, learning languages, baking, and working on her personal health and fitness levels. She tweets @MarissaHatten and also writes now and then on her site marisssahatten.com.
Jamie Lynn Harris
Jamie Lynn Harris has a very corporate job in marketing but in her free time she thinks on post-modern theory, raises a dog and a cat and lifts heavy weights. She is a Washingtonian at heart but currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Jamie Lynn graduated with a BA in Semiotics from Brown University in 2011. You can find some of her musings on ratchetotaku.com and follow her on Twitter @jlhperformance.
Jacqueline Keeler is a Navajo/Yankton Dakota Sioux writer living in Portland, Oregon and is a founder of EONM (Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry). She has been published in Salon, Indian Country Today and The Nation. She is finishing her first novel Leaving the Glittering World, set in the shadow of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State during the discovery of Kennewick Man.
Bianca is the Director of Education and Regional Programs at Scenarios USA; she is also an award-winning sexologist who has been in the US sexology field for over 15 years. Her background is in Black and Latinx sexualities, education, media justice, and youth culture. She resides in New York City where she provides education, consultation, training, and skillshares on various topics in the sexuality field. Bianca earned a BA in Women’s Health & Latino Communities from the University of Maryland, a MA in Human Sexuality Education from NYU, and a MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland. She is a founding member of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network and founder of The LatiNegr@s Project and LatinoSexuality.com. Bianca is on the board of The Black Girl Project and CLAGS The Center for LGBT Studies at CUNY.
Jamilah Lemieux is a writer, speaker and Senior Digital Editor for EBONY Magazine. A Chicago native and graduate of Howard University, Lemieux is a leading Millenial voice on issues of race, gender and sexuality. Integral to the reimagining of EBONY.com, she has been hailed as one of the sharpest young editors in the online world. In 2005, she launched her blog The Beautiful Struggler, where for more than six years, she galvanized a broad national audience with her meditations on cultural identity, relationships and her own less-than-ordinary life. What began as a hobby quickly became a critically acclaimed online destination, establishing Lemieux as an emergent authority on issues related to feminism, racial inequality and pop culture.
Featured on the The Root 100 list of the country’s most influential African Americans, she is also a three-time Black Weblog Award winner and was a 2013 National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Awards finalist for Best Digital Writing. Her work has been featured in EBONY, JET and Essence magazines, and she has been a contributing writer for a host of digital publications, including Clutch, Jezebel, Medium and Essence.com. A proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, she resides in Brooklyn.
Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts
Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts is a freelance writer and educator. Most of her work examines intersectional issues of faith/spirituality and culture (race and class, specifically). In addition to authoring eight books, including her recent novel The Search for Susu, Tracey has written pieces on health, business, education, publishing/writing and parenting. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications online and in print including TheRoot.com, The Guardian, ForHarriet.com, Ebony.com, DAME Magazine, Denene Millner’s MyBrownBaby.com, Philadelphia Weekly, and The Chronicle for Higher Education to name a few. Tracey is also a professor of English at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Ingrid, a newly minted 20-something, is a junior and English major at Boston College, who loves to collect passions like it’s going out of style. She’s currently studying abroad in Galway, Ireland. Read more at Smilingrid.com.
Erin McKelle is an activist, writer, consultant, and social media expert. Motivated to create social change, she has worked for a variety of non-profit and grassroots organizations, including The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Adios Barbie, The F Bomb, BACHE (Bay Area Communities for Health Education) and The Sierra Club. She is also an avid blogger who has created several popular blogging platforms, including Fearless Feminism, a popular feminist Tumblr, and helped create the successful Scenarios Youth campaign I Will End Sexual Violence based on the Scenarios film Speechless. She also contributes to national publications, such as Everyday Feminism, Fearless Press, Sex, Etc., The Huffington Post and RH Reality Check. She is currently working in communications for YTH (youth+tech+health), as a lifestyle writer at Bustle, as well as freelancing for several popular web platforms. Visit her website or book her as a speaker.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby. @mybrownbaby
Juliet is a sophomore at Pace University, where she is studying English Composition with concentrations in writing, literature, and culture. She recently joined the staff of both Pace University’s literary magazine Aphros, and Persephone’s Daughters, a new online literary magazine that works to empower and support women who have faced various forms of abuse and degradation through poetry, prose, and art. She is a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow, and the Media Distribution and Production intern at Scenarios USA. She hopes one day to write books of short stories, and to continue to use writing and blogging to create safe, supportive spaces for people who need them.
Rafael Noboa y Rivera
Rafael Noboa y Rivera is a writer and political organizer. Noboa y Rivera worked for a number of political campaigns, including two Presidential campaigns, as well as multiple issue campaigns. A decorated combat veteran, Noboa y Rivera served in the United States Army for almost seven years from 1999 to 2006, and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He currently resides in New York City.
Mena Odu lives in Lagos, Nigeria. Her interests include civic engagement, new (and old) media, and public policy. Follow her on Twitter @kalakuta27.
Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer. Her work primarily focuses on issues of race, feminism, the arts, and personal essay. She also has a degree in Political Science from Western Washington University.
Named one of Ebony.com’s “8 Dynamic Black Women Editors in New Media,” Andrea Plaid is a critic for Kirkus Review and serves as a contributing editor for The Feminist Wire. Her commentary has appeared on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Huffington Post Live, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post. Her work on race, gender, sex, and sexuality has appeared, among other places, at In These Times, Bitch.com, RH Reality Check, and Racialicious.
Martha Plimpton is a United States Citizen, actress, and sometimes writer based in New York. She has appeared in over 35 films, dozens of television programs, and on stage in theaters large and small for over 30 years. She has been politically active since she was a teenager, marching for women’s reproductive freedom in the 80, 90s, and now, unfortunately, the 10s. She has lobbied Congress on behalf of Planned Parenthood and has spoken out for women’s reproductive rights at campuses and rallies across the country. Martha will work to see that a woman’s right to physical self-determination becomes the standard in America for as long as it takes.
Ashley Reese is a writer from Los Angeles who lives in Brooklyn. She graduated from Howard University with a journalism degree and a passion for writing about race and gender. Currently, she’s a contributor to Gurl.com, Golly Magazine, and The Gloss. She has a column called Accidental Virgin in which she talks way too much about the state of her vagina.
Janessa E. Robinson
Janessa E. Robinson is a Chicago native. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a minor in Philosophy from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She is a Black feminist and racial justice activist. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @curlyheadred.
My name is Aurelio Rodriguez. I am a senior at Infinity High school in little village. I am an activist, artist, scientist, and comedian. I work with ICAH (Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health), advocating for youth rights. I also work with Scenarios USA media corps and with scenarios leadership council on a campaign about starting the conversation on what it means to be an ally to LGBTQ youth or anyone.
Danielle SeeWalker and Carlotta Cardana
Danielle SeeWalker, Lakota writer and artist, is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservaton. She met Italian photographer Carlotta Cadana when the two were in high school and in 2013, they launched the Red Road Project, a photography and storytelling series that documents the lives of young Native Americans trying to preserve their cultures.
Iqra Shafiq is an former intern at Scenarios USA. She has loved working behind the scenes and helping the organization grow in numerous ways. Iqra is currently a Political Science and Business major in her junior year at The City College of New York, and is working as an intern for Congresswoman Velazquez in Washington, DC. She plans to attend law school and create her own organization connected to the United Nations with the goal of mentoring young girls in an education setting. Iqra is fluent in Urdu, Hindhi and Punjabi and literate in Arabic and Urdu as well as Punjabi.
Diamond Sharp is the Media Coordinator for the Black Youth Project and is based in both Brooklyn and Chicago. Follow her on Twitter.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, CA, Juliana “Jewels” Smith artistic work is an extension of her experience as an educator, activist, and organizer. Smith is the writer and creative director of (H)afrocentric: the Comic. Her interests in issues of race, class, gender and sexuality are told through humor, developing what she calls a, “liberatory science fiction.” Read more about her work at about.me/jewels.smith
What’s to come: (H)afrocentric will be releasing Vol. 4 in the Summer of 2015! In Vol. 4, follow Naima Pepper and friends as they take on their respective senior internships at Ronald Reagan University. With the help of a fairy godmother, Naima Pepper is able to land a paid internship as a racial interpreter. But will she be able to get through the internship without being fired for her fiery soapbox moments? In collaboration with Scenarios USA, (H)afrocentric will release a number of preview pages for readers. Stay tuned!
Pamela Sneed is a New York based poet and actress. She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Out, Bomb, VIBE, and on the cover of New York Magazine. She is author of “Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery,” published by Henry Holt in April 1998, KONG& other works published by Vintage Entity Press 2009 and a chapbook Lincoln.(2014). She has performed original works for sold out houses at Lincoln Center, P.S. 122,Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, The ICA London, The CCA in Glasgow Scotland, The Green Room in Manchester England, BAM cafe, Central Park Summer Stage and recently Columbia University’s Tribute to James Baldwin, The Whitney Museum, La Mama, and BRIC with an upcoming appearance at Bronx Summerstage.
She has headlined the New Work Now festival at Joe’s Pub/Public Theater. She is the recipient of a BAX award for performance. She was the television voice-over spokesperson for IBM, including their Linux and On Demand Campaigns as well as Merck. She is an affiliate artist at Sarah Lawrence.Her work is included in Essence Magazine, The 100 Best African American Poems edited by Nikki Giovanni, Best American Short Plays 2006, Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays 2013, and Ping Pong Magazine. She has a 2008 MFA in New Media Art and Performance from LIU.
Whitney Spaner is a freelance writer and editor, who escaped the cold New York winters for the foggy coast of San Francisco. She is a regular contributor to Playbill.com as well as NYCgo.com and her work has also appeared in New York magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Paper magazine, the ARTe Project and New York Theater Magazine. Follow her on Twitter at @whitneyspaner.
Meredith Talusan is a transgender writer, artist, and advocate whose words and images have appeared or are forthcoming in The Guardian, Matter, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Kernel, The New Inquiry, Buzzfeed, i-D, The Advocate, Fusion, and VICE Magazine. She is also a PhD graduate student in comparative literature at Cornell University and a first-generation Filipino immigrant. You can follow her on Twitter @1demerith.
ReBecca Theodore-Vachon is a film and tv writer, focusing on the critique of race and gender in the media. Her work has been published on TheUrbanDaily.com, RogerEbert.com and NYTimes She also runs her own blog FilmFataleNYC.blogspot.com and co-hosts “Cinema in Noir” podcast on Sundays BlogTalkRadio 6PM-7PM EST. You can follow her on Twitter: @FilmFatale_NYC
Kate Tuttle is a book critic for the Boston Globe. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, Salon, NPR.com, and elsewhere. She lives in Decatur, Georgia. Follow her @katekilla
Sasha Tartikovsky Jones
Sasha Tartikovsky Jones is a writer, editor, translator, and designer. She attended Oberlin College, where she earned a degree in Comparative Literature with German as her language, and where she wrote, edited, and eventually worked as Editor-in-Chief of the Wilder Voice, a magazine for longform journalism and creative nonfiction. She has also written for GOOD magazine and I Care If You Listen. She has studied at Berlin’s Freie Universität and worked as an editorial assistant at GOOD, LA Youth, and South End Press. Currently, she is located in Brooklyn, New York.
Steven W Thrasher
Steven W Thrasher is writer-at-large for Guardian US. He was named Journalist of the Year 2012 by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, the Advocate and more. Follow him on Twitter at @thrasherxy or visit his website.
José Luis Vilson
Arisce Wanzer is a full time model currently living, working, and dating in New York City. She hails from Woodbridge, Virginia where her supportive family still resides. She graduated from the Art Institute of Miami in 2009 for Fashion Merchandising and Marketing and has been in the business ever since. She came out as transgender when she was 19 and has been living happily doing what she loves… shopping! She has traveled the world, read many books, enjoys indie pop music and high fashion. You want to date her. She lives in Hollywood.
Kevin Wheeler is a freelance writer, activist and volunteer with Unite Here Local 7. He resides in Baltimore, Md where he has lived his entire life.
Valerie is the founder and CEO of The Validation Project, a global movement that unites teens and turns their passions into positive action through community service, mentoring, and global campaigns. She is also a United Nations A World at School ambassador.
Janee Woods is a former attorney who left the law to join a nonprofit focused on supporting community engagement, strengthening democracy and fostering racial equity. She has coached communities across the country on how to organize for equitable change around issues like poverty, early childhood education and food security. She also writes about social justice issues and whatever else strikes her fancy. Her writing has appeared on TheRoot, AlterNet, Quartz and Guernica. Follow her on Twitter @janeepwoods.
Kelly Wickham is a technology magnet middle school guidance dean. Her career in schools spans 22 years. Kelly is a fierce advocate for social justice and she also writes about race and education at her own blog, Mocha Momma. She is the winner of the Iris Award for Most Thought-Provoking Content. She joined EduColor last year.
Kristina Wong’s newest show “The Wong Street Journal” world premieres in San Francisco June 17-21. Watch her live, in the world outside of writing clickbait and doing TV appearances at www.kristinawong.com/upcoming/ Follow her on twitter @mskristinawong
Jess Zimmerman is a Guardian US columnist. Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared at the Hairpin, Aeon, Time and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter: @j_zimms
Founded in 1999, Scenarios USA is a national non-profit organization that uses writing and film to foster youth leadership, advocacy and self-expression in students across the country, with a focus on marginalized communities.